Martin Odegaard, behind the class of character
Because we are dealing with a different footballer than the others.
Norse mythology tells of a demigod, Thor’s half-brother Loki, the father of strange beasts: world-devouring water serpents, fearsome wolves, and colossal enemies of the cosmic order. The Vikings mentioned them in the goriest situations of everyday life. And the first European to pay that price was England, which today in the Premier League hosts and admires two of the finest products in Scandinavian and Norwegian football: Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard. On the other hand, history, theology teaches us, is cyclical and repeats itself.
Today we want to turn our attention to the second point. That year, Odegaard was the authentic driver of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, the team that showed the finest football in England, perhaps even more so than Guardiola’s City, which he gave a tough streak in the league. The Norwegian talent, who seemed to have become a meteorite at Real, has combined superfine (and well-known) class with real driving numbers this season (15 Premier League goals, down from just 7 last year). So he turned out to be the technical and moral leader of the teamwhose captain he was appointed earlier this season at the behest of Arteta.
A Leader However, he does not necessarily have to wear the armband on the pitch if he is recognized as such by the dressing room. That’s exactly how Arteta spoke of it guide The 23-year-old Scandinavian already proved that last season: “When everyone started to tremble, he gave us stability and composure with the ball and created chance after chance. He proved it from the first week. The way he enters the field, he always wants the ball and orders the pressing (…) comes across as very shy and modest, however When he enters the field, he shows great character“.
And the character and personality are all at a high level, as is the talent in the legs: after all, it’s always the head that moves the feet. Even Bukayo Saka was more than enthusiastic about Odegaard in a recent interview define it own”A fantastic leader, he is the player who sets an example, especially on and off the pitch“. The key word in this case is “off the field”: because a real captain is the one who also sets an example in the dressing room, during training, when the coach and squad face each other and debate, and the Norwegian in this sense fulfills his role very good.
Odegaard is one of the last to leave training and one of the first to come back. He always listens to each member’s opinion team on all topics related to the team, Sitting down to eat with a different person every day during lunchBuild relationships with everyone without excluding anyone. On their own, these gestures might seem more than normal, if not trivial, but it’s those little things that make a player a fundamental reference point in a dressing room that make you a real captain.
At the same time, Odegaard is on the field both the brain and heart of Arsenal: is the player responsible for distributing and at the same time managing the ball, the one who enters the field of play to find the way to the goal on one side or, alternatively, takes a personal shot from the outside and on the other side tries using his own The left foot is superfine, he looks for the best corridors to serve his teammates in the marker release phase with long balls or flat shots, not to mention his excellent ability to skip the man, which perfectly compensates for some speed restrictions. Martin carries the 8 on his shoulders, but Technically, it is a very pure number 10, a juggler of the game. Beautiful to look at, very elegant but very concrete, intelligent.
So he described it well Jorge Valdano: “Odegaard should no longer be seen as a promise, it is a complete product. distributed, has football criteriaAbility to define plays with high balls, dribbles and middle-distance shots. A versatile, practical and attractive talent.”
Inevitable i compare with great phenomena of the past wearing the Londoners’ prestigious red shirt, with someone who immediately thought of a club legend like Dennis Bergkamp to describe Martin while someone else was talking about it Cesc Fabregasthe latter the Norwegian’s professed idol, especially considering the statistically sensational season the Spaniard achieved with the gunners in the 2009/10 season (when he scored the same number of goals as Martin in the Premier League, namely 15), and most importantly Cesc himself being named Arsenal captain at a young age, aged just 21 , so two fewer than he Martin at his appointment.
There are also those who have mentioned the name of Mesut Özil, with whom Odegaard certainly has some things in common technically (mainly game vision). Özil was bought when he was already at the peak of his career (having played three sensational years at Real Madrid), while Martin was still a footballer on the launch pad at the time of purchase, so was he anyway (another similarity between them ). the two) are from Blancoswhere, however, he had never managed to establish himself as he moved from one loan to the next between the Netherlands and Spain.
Odegaard has always had the stigmata of the predestined, including because when At 16, you’ve already broken every possible Norwegian football record for precocity (the youngest to make his league debut and score a goal and the youngest to make his national team debut) and above all, you are bought by Real Madrid, you can only exceed the expectations of the whole world about you. However, at Real, as expected, Odegaard saw only in the second team (the castile), while only playing a single game in the first game in two years.
And then, from 2017 to 2018, loan to Heerenveen and then to Vitesse. At that point, Real wanted to test him in a club and league that were more coaches: this is where Odegaard ended up at Real Sociedad in 2019. In the marked year of the pandemic Martin finally manages to establish himself in the world leaguewhich contributed to the Basque team’s sixth place finish and also to the Basque team’s victory Copa del Rey (However, he will not take part in the final, which has been postponed to the following year due to Covid): In the quarter-finals of the competition, he will score one of the four goals with which the Basques eliminate Real Madrid from the cup.
So Real decided to take him back, but things didn’t go well for the Norwegian on clay Madridista, especially given the excessive competition in this role. Here it takes over the arsenal who takes it on loan from the Galacticos with the right to buy it January 2021, to then buy it completely for 40 million euros: money well spent. In London, Odegaard not only fulfilled his potential, but he even managed to go one step further: maybe he became a stronger footballer than originally expected.
If he doesn’t suffer any serious injuries in the next few years, it’s already safe to say that a player of his talent and especially his wits is destined to do great things in football in the near future. Perhaps with a more mature and experienced arsenal and with the very talented Norwegian at the heart of the project. With feet and geometries, of course, but also with the head. At that point, the prince would become king.